Manitoba woman says she was locked out of her online banking because of deep voice


A Manitoba woman says she was denied access to her bank account because of the tone of her voice and it’s taken days to get the issue resolved. 

Karlii Beaulieu said she realized she was locked out of her account on Wednesday, following a call she’d had with someone from telephone banking the day before. She said she visited a TD branch in person on Thursday and that’s when a bank employee told her there was a comment on her account that said she had a deeper voice, but the name on the account was female. 

She was « a little hurt, to be honest and vulnerable, » said Beaulieu, who lives in Brandon. « There was nothing I could do. »

Beaulieu is transgender. She said she’s told the bank several times. 

Karlii Beaulieu says she got this message when she tried to access her bank accounts following a phone conversation with a bank employee. (Karlii Beaulieu/Submitted)

« It’s so, what is it, unsettling that knowing that people like this are controlling my money, » said Beaulieu.

Beaulieu said she left the bank Thursday thinking the issue had been resolved, but was still locked out of her account on Friday. 

« It’s just really … [a] big inconvenience, » said Beaulieu. 

Geraldine Anderson, manager of corporate and public affairs for TD, said in a written statement that TD wants to get things right for all customers, but that in this case that didn’t happen.

« We recognize voice tone is not necessarily indicative of a customer’s gender, and our processes have been updated to ensure factors are considered holistically during the identity authentication process, » said Anderson. 

« With the recent launch of TD Voiceprint, which is a voice recognition technology available for a number of banking services, once a customer enrolls by recording their unique voiceprint, it can be used to automatically validate the customer’s identity during future interactions. In any situation, if a customer has not been able to authenticate over the phone, we would work with them to identify a solution that meets their needs while protecting their personal privacy. »

The statement also said TD is committed to building an inclusive, barrier-free environment where every customer and employee feels valued, respected and supported.

On Friday afternoon, Beaulieu got a call — and apology — from someone at TD, which she appreciated. But, she said, she still doesn’t have access to her account, and was headed back to a local branch to once again try to sort things out.

« I don’t want to get locked out for calling and having a deep voice, » she said. « There’s been many times where agents have even questioned you know ‘why is your voice deep?’….. It’s been asked so many times and I’m totally OK with, you know, educating people on it, I’m totally OK with explaining myself. What I’m not OK with is someone assuming. »  

Beaulieu said this isn’t the first time she’s been locked out of her account. She hopes by talking about her experience, she can help others.

« I know there are a lot of other young transgender females who don’t know what to do in this type of situation, » she said.  


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Peterborough’s Psychic Destiny channels inner voice to help others in 2019 – Peterborough


New Year’s is the time of year when many look for a fresh start and to try and move on from the past.

That’s where Psychic Destiny — also know as Glenda Foster — comes in.

This, in fact, is her busy season, when she says her business is really booming. “Right now, this time of year, people tend to be a little heavy, a little bit depressed, in relationships, wondering where there relations are going,” Foster said.

“There’s just so much change that’s starting to happen to people. It’s more of an awakening, I will say.”

Achilles the psychic cat picks Russia to win first match of 2018 World Cup

Foster says she was born with the ability to tell peoples’ futures. She began fortune telling when she was about eight years old.

From a very young age, she had visions and images in her dreams, so she started telling others what she saw. They couldn’t believe what they heard, Foster said, and started to cry.

“I had one young girl that really didn’t know her dad and all she ever heard was the negative from her family,” Foster said. “I said to her, ‘Everybody has a path, be it good or bad, that they have to do on this life plain.’

WATCH: Peterborough offering free transit on New Year’s Eve

“So, from the other side,” Foster continued, “he was able to reach through to her and he told me his name. He told me all different things about him and the biggest thing is how much he loved her, that he didn’t know how to reach out to her, and now he can, that actually set that young girl free.”

Foster says the young girl went on to school, got married and found peace and happiness in her life.

School forced to cancel clairvoyant night due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’

Psychic Destiny then channeled her inner voice to determine how 2019 looks for people.

“Abundance,” she said. “There’s just so much peace. I just see a lot of wonderful growth, a lot of study, and what I’ll say is just push ahead and be happy with and yourself and your surroundings and many wonderful things will open up for you this year.”

To book your very own reading, email Psychic Destiny at



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How a Degrassi child star became a leading academic voice on legalizing weed


When Rebecca Haines-Saah was 13, she saw an ad in the Toronto Sun looking for teenagers to star in what would become a cult classic Canadian TV show. Having experience in dance and theatre — she already had an agent — she showed up to the audition with a pink, cable-knit sweater and loads of teenage ambition.

The show was Degrassi Junior High, the drama that dealt with teen pregnancy, underage drinking and drug use. For many children growing up in the 1980s, it would become a cultural treasure.

Haines-Saah didn’t get the part of Melanie Brodie, whom she had auditioned to play, but the show’s writers were so enamoured with her acting chops that they created a new role for her: Melanie’s best friend, Kathleen Mead. The so-called Wicked Witch of Degrassi.

While Haines-Saah played the character for five seasons, she didn’t go on to become a professional actor. Instead, she reinvented herself as an academic. But the parallels between her childhood job and her career as an adult are all the more striking.

This episode of Degrassi Junior High is the first appearance for Kathleen Mead (blue sweater), played by Rebecca Haines-Saah. Joey Jeremiah ends up selling them vitamins as drugs. 1:08

The woman who played a teen experimenting with drugs, dealing with anorexia and coping with a mother addicted to alcohol now researches youth substance use and mental health at the University of Calgary.

The child star whose character once brought pot to a birthday party, grew up to become a leading academic voice in Alberta on the value of legalizing cannabis, arguing that jailing users created more harm than the drug itself.

« It’s that approach to engaging youth voices and putting youth stories at the centre, that really shapes my work, » says Haines-Saah, who teaches in the department of community health services and works with youth on video and photo projects to help share their stories.

Youth have something valuable to say

« That’s really a Degrassi-style approach to storytelling and to thinking youth have something valuable to say. If we want to help youth in any way, we need to talk to them and understand how they see the world, not our adult-centric perspective on life. »

Haines-Saah grew up in Toronto’s Regent Park, where she saw the rise of the crack epidemic, with people using and selling drugs, and engaging in sex work around her doorstep. She left that same stoop every morning to film on set, but she couldn’t get a taxi to drop her off close to home at day’s end, because of the way her neighbourhood was viewed.

Kathleen Mead had a streak of mischief. In this episode, she brings 2 joints to a birthday slumber party. 0:30

« I had this dual experience growing up, and it really did inform how I approach people who use drugs, the compassion that I think we need and why I challenge stigma, » she says.

There are some notable contrasts between her and the character she played for most of her teenage years.

Haines-Saah is warm and engaging. To be charitable, Kathleen was cold. A harsher assessment might peg her as a snooty mean girl. But her hostile demeanour was often a defence mechanism against her peers prying into her personal life, especially her troubled home.

She was a trivia master who wanted to excel at school and, most of all, make her parents proud. She once produced a science project with her bestie Melanie about the dangers of pollution and acid rain, and was crushed when it didn’t win at the school science fair.

Character could be mistaken for a nerd

Kathleen could have been mistaken for a nerd if it weren’t for her streak of mischief. In one episode, she finds a pair of cannabis joints and shares them with friends during a birthday party sleepover. The drama takes a turn when Melanie gets so high she reveals some of Kathleen’s deepest, darkest secrets, including that she’s in counselling.

« Kathleen, I don’t see what the big deal is, » her best friend blurts out. « You had anorexia. Your mom is an alcoholic. And your boyfriend beat you up. Most people would need counselling for even one of those things. »

Kathleen Mead had a reputation for being cold, including in this episode about a trivia contest. Haines-Saah says she sometimes had a hard time convincing fans she’s not the « evil character » she played on TV. 0:44

Despite her hard exterior, the character resonated with Haines-Saah, given that Kathleen’s home life « isn’t that far off from what many kids experience, » and given her « remarkable resilience » to all those challenges. Still, the actor sometimes got heckled on the streets of Toronto over her character’s harsh disposition.

« The male castmates had fun, » she says. « They had teenage girls chasing them around, trying to get into their hotel rooms and date them.

« I just got yelled at and called names. »

Haines-Saah starred in Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, along with a single appearance on Degrassi: The Next Generation. As a young Canadian actor, she didn’t lead a lavish life of luxury.

Awkward moments, worst hairstyles forever captured

« I don’t think I ever really experienced that type of uber celebrity that child stars have now, and in many ways I’m thankful for that, » she says. « But I have some of my most awkward teenage moments and worst hairstyles forever captured on film for everybody to see. »

While she played a young student, she missed three or four months of school a year. Her mom told her if her average fell below 80 per cent, she had to quit the show.

Rebecca Haines-Saah argues cannabis prohibition and scare-tactic campaigns like the poster hanging in her office did not stop youth from smoking pot. She says the policy did more harm than the drug itself. (Reid Southwick/CBC)

« I literally had a tutor driving me around on geography field trips around Ontario to look at granite outcrops and all kinds of other ridiculous things on the weekends, » she says. « I’d be writing a chemistry exam on set at 7 a.m. supervised by a production assistant and then sending it over to the school. »

Academics were always important. She had read somewhere « if you could picture yourself being happy doing anything other than acting, you should go and do that thing. » So she enrolled at McGill University. She was initially in communications, thinking she’d get into journalism or film production, but she fell in love with research and writing papers, later shifting her focus to youth drug use.

Putting youth at the centre

« It’s no accident that I became a youth substance use researcher, » she says on a University of Calgary video about legalizing cannabis, « because I started out as an actress on the Canadian television series Degrassi.

« What was so unique and different about Degrassi, compared to other television for young people is that, in the Degrassi storylines, youth always solved their own problems … and that’s definitely the approach I take in my research, is amplifying youth voices and putting youth at the centre. »


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Parents voice concerns over relocation of students at Westmount Park School – Montreal


Students at Westmount Park School are bracing for change.

Their school could be undergoing a major renovation, meaning students would be temporarily transferred to either Marymount Academy or St John Bosco.

Parents voiced their concerns about the move at a meeting Monday night.

Concerns include “The bussing situation [and] the fact that their friends are going to be split among whose closer to one campus or the other,” said Christie Stilson, whose daughter and son have been at the school for a year.

School board votes to move Westmount Park Elementary students during major renovations

Parents got answers to some of their concerns from the school’s governing board and principals, including where their kids will likely be transferred.

That all depends on whether their address is located above or below the Ville-Marie Expressway, they explained.

“There will be transportation provided, that daycare will be provided, that the services will be there,” said Marylène Perron, the school’s principal.

Officials are trying to put parents’ minds at ease until a final decision is made on whether the renovations will , in fact, go ahead.

“Wherever we will be, we will be Westmount Park,” Perron said.

WATCH: Westmount teachers protest CAQ religious symbols ban

The school was built in 1913 and has major structural concerns.

“We do not have a ventilation system,” Perron said. “We do not have an elevator; the building is not accessible.”

The proposed two-year renovation is welcome news for parents like Clifford Jordan.

“It’s a good thing because the school does need improvements,” Jordan told Global News. “I came to school here 40 years ago.”

Video from Quebec school bus shows cars zooming by, even as lights flash

In the meantime, the school’s governing board took note of parents’ comments and concerns, in preparation for a report that will be delivered to the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) January 8.

The board will vote on the relocation the following week, and if it is approved, renovations would begin in June 2019.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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The death of Harry Leslie Smith: ‘He was the last voice of his generation that had grit, determination and compassion,’ son recalls


When the end came in the predawn quiet of Wednesday morning, it was as if the entire world had gathered at Belleville General Hospital to say goodbye.

Harry Leslie Smith had that kind of far-reaching impact.

Smith didn’t just have followers and admirers, he touched people viscerally with his passion for social justice, his rants against austerity and his fervent belief that the world could be, and should be, a better place. But people had to take the hard-fought lessons from his generation and make certain — he would’ve said damn certain — they weren’t repeated.

As a relentless crusader for the impoverished, Smith ramped up his wrath as he hit his 90s, calling himself “the world’s oldest rebel.” With his books, tweets, podcasts, speeches and newspaper columns, he let generations of devotees into his life; so it was only fitting that they’d want to be there as he faded towards death and made his final stand at 95.

With his son and constant companion, John, taking over his Twitter account and providing poignant updates from his father’s bedside as he fought pneumonia, many of his 258,000 followers flooded the account with an outpouring of love and support.

“It was comforting,” John said by phone Wednesday. “He was the last voice of his generation that had grit, determination and compassion. When he died, to me it felt like when one would see a unique, rare beautiful species go extinct.”

Smith split his time between Belleville, Ont., and his native England, and when John let it be known that his father was gone, there were tributes from political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Throughout his life, Harry Leslie Smith fought and worked to make the world a better place for everyone … his legacy will be profound.”

This came from Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour party leader: “We will all miss Harry Leslie Smith — he was one of the giants whose shoulders we stand on. A World War Two veteran who dedicated his life to fighting for our National Health Service, a peaceful world and for countries to meet their moral responsibility by welcoming refugees.”

Read more:

Belleville author galvanized Toronto youth with his get-political message

Smith, the son of an English coal miner, grew up in the slums of Yorkshire amid degrading poverty that had him pawing through garbage looking for scraps to eat.

“It was a brutal life,” he recalled in an interview with the Star last year.

Without the benefit of national health care, he watched as one of his two older sisters wasted away with spinal tuberculosis and “like rubbish they hauled away” was taken to a workhouse infirmary to await death. At 10, her body was tossed into an unmarked pauper’s pit.

With his dad out of work, and eventually kicked out by his mother, the family moved through a series of crowded lodging facilities, often living with damaged war vets and the mentally ill. It was not uncommon for young Harry, his own hunger a constant numbing force, to see people wailing in pain, hoping for death, because they couldn’t afford medical help.

Smith lived through the Depression and the Second World War, and it was that rare perspective on Twitter that helped make him a social media sensation as he targeted everything from Donald Trump’s policies and creeping fascism to runaway corporate greed and eroding health benefits.

Smith joined the Royal Air Force at 18 in 1941 and remained in Germany with the post-war occupational forces. In Hamburg, he met his future wife, Friede, a German native. The couple eventually settled in working-class Halifax, England, in what Smith called a “a beans-on-toast life.” Smith worked as a carpet weaver but they longed for something more. That better life came when the couple — thanks to a small, unexpected inheritance — was able to cross the ocean and eventually settle in Scarborough. Smith worked in the carpet sales business and raised three sons.

It was a happy life. While Smith was politicized by the hardships of his youth it was heartbreak in retirement that pushed him to take his message to the world. First he lost his wife of 52 years to cancer in 1999. That, Harry said, took away his softness. Then when his middle son, Peter, already battling schizophrenia, was killed by lung disease in 2009, he began writing his memoirs.

Three self-published books led to a column in the Guardian newspaper. That essay caught the eye of a book agent, which led to a fourth book, Harry’s Last Stand, that was both autobiographical and an impassioned plea for a better world and the preservation of the welfare state.

The book proved popular and, suddenly at 91, Smith was not only a celebrity of sorts but he was a catalyst for political reform from a decidedly left-wing perspective. One that had an audience spanning generations.

After he’d speak at a university, he’d often get the rock-star treatment with students lingering afterwards to have a book signed or simply just to share a few words of encouragement.

“I think his legacy will be that you don’t have to be special or important to change the world,” said John said Wednesday. “That age should not matter and that you can be a living example to others about how best to approach politics and social change.”

John will continue his father’s work, including the completion of a planned book on the refugee crisis. He hoped his dad’s warnings might help ensure that Smith’s past doesn’t become our future.

Smith, while still producing at a feverish pace, was keenly aware he was racing against time when he spoke to the Star last year.

“I would like to feel, when I go, that my life meant something,” he said. “That I’ve seen changes happening; that ordinary people begin to realize that they mean something.”

It looks as if you appreciate our journalism. Our reporting changes lives, connects communities and effects change. But good journalism is expensive to produce, and advertiser revenue throughout the media industry is falling and unable to carry the cost. That means we need you, our readers. We need your help. If you appreciate deep local reporting, powerful investigations and reliable, responsible information, we hope you will support us through a subscription. Please click here to subscribe.

Paul Hunter is a reporter and feature writer based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @hunterhockey


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Manitoba residents voice concern over decrease in hours of operation at U.S. border crossings – Winnipeg


The drive from Jean Gushulak’s home in Piney, Man., to her mom’s place in Badger, Minn., is around 30 minutes.

But upcoming changes to the operating hours at several Canadian port-of-entry crossings will make Gushulak’s trip home much longer.

“It takes me 30 minutes to get my mom’s, and now it will take a little over an hour to get back,” she said.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says three ports in southeastern Manitoba will have their hours reduced as of Nov. 26.

At the Piney POE, closing time will be changed from 10 p.m to 5 p.m. The South Junction POE will be reduced by four hours, closing at 8 p.m. instead of midnight, and the Tolstoi crossing will close at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. from Victoria Day to Labour Day and then 6 p.m. for the rest of the year.

The Piney and South Junction crossings are separated by just a few kilometres, meaning Gushulak has until 8 p.m. to avoid a major detour.

If she can’t make it in time, she says she’ll have to go all the way to the Sprague-Warroad POE, which would make her trip home around 90 minutes.

Jean Gushulak’s trip home from Minnesota is about to get longer thanks to cutbacks made at several Southeastern Manitoba ports of entry.

Jordan Pearn/Global News

Melanie Parent, deputy reeve of the Rural Municipality of Piney, said many residents in the area head to Roseau, Minn., for grocery shopping, entertainment and health care, as Roseau is home to the nearest hospital.

Many in the area also work across the border.

She says residents were not consulted about these changes.

“We were completely surprised. We had no clue this was going to be happening,” Parent said.

Lisa White of the CBSA tells Global News the decision was made after reviewing the traffic volume at each port.

“This is our nightlife”

Piney’s Sherri Houston said residents go to Roseau to play hockey, bowl and watch movies, among many other activities. Houston worries the cutbacks will keep more people at home.

“This is our nightlife. This could really affect mental health here because it limits what you want to do,” Houston said.

Meetings between residents and border officials will take place on Wednesday in Piney and Thursday in Tolstoi to discuss the changes. The CBSA says they are open to reviewing the plan if they feel major concerns are raised.

Gushulak wants the changes reversed and worries if they go ahead, more could be on the way.

“It just seems like if they just keep cutting, we don’t want to lose our border,” she said.

Watch: Emerson border expansions to improve crossing from United States

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Douglas Rain, Stratford Festival pioneer and voice of HAL, dead at 90


A pioneer of the Stratford Festival, Douglas Rain, died Sunday at the age of 90 in a hospital just outside the city in which he first established his longtime classical career.

Rain spent 32 seasons acting at Stratford and was one of the few surviving founding members of the company. But his biggest mark on pop culture surprisingly came through another role: as HAL 9000, the unmistakable voice from the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Rain died of natural causes at St. Marys Memorial Hospital outside Stratford, Ont, according to a press release from the Stratford Festival. The Winnipeg-born actor had more than a hundred television and film credits. 

After studying at Old Vic theatre school in London, England, he joined the Stratford Festival’s inaugural season in 1953 and continued until 1998. During that time, Rain performed myriad Shakespearean roles including Claudio in Measure for Measure, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Iago in Othello and Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida. 

One of his most notable stage roles was in Henry V, in which he played the title character. The rendition was adapted for television in 1966.

« Canadian theatre has lost one of its greatest talents and a guiding light in its development, » said the Stratford Festival’s artistic director Antoni Cimolino in a statement, adding Rain was « an actor deeply admired by other actors. »

Rain is survived by two sons, one daughter and a granddaughter.

Douglas Rain is shown as Henry V in the Stratford Festival’s 1966 production of Henry V. (Peter Smith/Stratford Festival)


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